The Indian tech industry, with its phenomenal presence in the global arena, has been helping foster better ties with the US. The industry has directly created over half a million jobs and contributed over $57 billion to the US economy in 2018, stated the National Association of Software and Services Companies.
India, a prime hub of innovation in technology in the world, generated total revenues of $227 billion in FY 2022. A maturing industry, it is estimated to gross $1trillion very soon. The country is blessed with a large pool of young and qualified tech professionals who are willing to shift base to work on onsite projects and are more than willing to learn newer technologies. They have been and will continue to fill the demand and supply gap for tech talent in the United States. While the US has been at the forefront of R&D and innovations, it still needs tech professionals to execute many of its innovations and bring them to the market. That is where the Indian talent comes into the picture.
This was the exact point India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, stressed recently. He said that tech would play a crucial role between the two countries, and FY 2023 will be a phenomenal year in these ties. Last year, India achieved a historic high of $160 billion in bilateral trade during a pandemic year without any formal trade agreement, despite supply chain disruptions, he pointed out.
At a recent summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden in Japan, the two leaders signed the initiative for critical and emerging technologies (iCET) that will cover AI, the internet of things, and 5G, giving a further boost to tech relations. The two leaders have emphasized using technology to address twenty-first-century challenges, including health, energy, climate change, education, cyber, defence and security. In the Interim National Security Guidance released in March 2021, Biden expressed that the US should develop strong partnerships with key allies like India in emerging and critical technologies.
India Has been Taking Initiatives
The Ministry of External Affairs started the New Emerging and Strategic Technologies (NEST) Division in 2020. This will help the country in technology diplomacy and deal with legal issues in emerging and strategic technologies with other countries. The US National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, in its report in 2020, asked the State and Defence Departments to enter into a formal agreement with India for cooperation in emerging technologies. It asked the administration to form a US-India Strategic Tech Alliance, considering the increasing influence India is wielding at the global level.
This led to the US-India Artificial Intelligence Initiative in March 2021 to explore cooperation in critical areas like healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture, energy, and smart cities. The two countries are also part of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence for the responsible development of AI technologies. As a result of these positive vibes, the defence trade between the two countries hit $21 billion in 2021, a considerable jump from negligible levels before 2008.